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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 16:58 March 18, 2020

The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.

(LEAD) Vice health minister in self-quarantine after contacting virus patient

SEOUL -- South Korea's vice health minister has gone into self-quarantine after having contact with a virus patient, the country's health authorities said Wednesday.

Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglip held a meeting with the head of a general hospital south of Seoul and other health-related officials on Friday.

(LEAD) Daegu reports another cluster infection from nursing hospital

DAEGU -- Another cluster transmission of the new coronavirus has infected more than 70 people at a nursing hospital in the southeastern city of Daegu, the epicenter of the local outbreak, city government officials said Wednesday.

The Daegu Metropolitan City Government said a total of 75 people from the nursing hospital, including 57 patients and 18 medical staff, tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. A nurse working at the hospital was the its first confirmed case on Monday.

Seoul stocks extend loss to decade low as virus panic spreads

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks extended their losing streak to a sixth consecutive session on Wednesday, hitting their lowest point in a decade, as a panicky selling spree eclipsed stimulus packages released around the globe. The Korean won again fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) crashed 81.24 points, or 4.86 percent, to close at 1,591.20, sinking below the significant 1,600-point level and marking the lowest point since May 26, 2010.

(LEAD) S. Korea, WHO to cooperate on COVID-19 research work

SEOUL -- South Korea's health authorities said Wednesday that they will work together with the World Health Organization (WHO) on clinical research on the novel coronavirus that has hit most countries around the world.

The pandemic, first reported in Wuhan, China, late last year, is spreading quickly in places like Europe, with the death toll in many countries ranging in the thousands.

Foreign demands rapidly increasing for S. Korean-made coronavirus test kits, knowhow: official

SEOUL -- A growing number of foreign countries have been asking about importing South Korean-made coronavirus diagnostic kits and other forms of aid to help curb the pandemic, a foreign ministry official said Wednesday.

Such calls have been rising as Seoul's containment efforts have led to a slowdown in new COVID-19 cases and a low fatality rate, which have created breathing space for South Korea to look beyond its shores to embrace a broader role in the global fight against the virus.

(2nd LD) Seoul to spend 327.1 bln won to support virus-hit households

SEOUL -- The Seoul metropolitan government said Wednesday it plans to spend 327.1 billion won (US$264.7 million) to provide financial support to its residents as part of emergency anti-virus measures.

"The city's residents' everyday lives have come to a stop, and the economy has also come to a stop. Some residents say (the situation) is tougher than the Asian financial crisis," Mayor Park Won-soon told a press briefing.

Over 2,500 shows, exhibitions canceled this year over coronavirus

SEOUL -- More than 2,500 performing art shows and exhibitions have been canceled for the first four months of this year, resulting in heavy financial damage to the arts industry, a report showed Wednesday.

According to the report by the private Federation of Artistic & Cultural Organization of Korea, a total of 2,511 concerts, performing art shows and art exhibitions have been called off in the January-April period due to coronavirus outbreaks.


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